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Birth Of Tragedy - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Birth Of TragedyBirth Of Tragedy

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

918 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 918
Reviews: 149
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 956
Gots: 168 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: s1ckboy on 11-20-2011

Imperial porter brewed with coffee and honey and aged in bourbon barrels.

2011 vintage - 11% ABV
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 918 | Reviews: 149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cfrances33
4.17/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

2012 bottle, poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: Completely still, dark, dark brown body. Not quite black. A few bubble form on the surface, but carb is lacking here it seems completely.

Smell: Big roasted marshmallow up front, followed by some clean bourbon vanilla. A nice milk chocolate comes through, and closes the nose.

Taste: Again, big time roasted marshmallows and milk chocolate. A nice vanilla creamyness. Some bourbon sweetness. Finishes sticky with vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Dead still. There is absolutely zero carb to speak of, and it hurts the feel. Otherwise, clean bourbon flavors provide little to no heat. A sipper, and fantastically drinkable

Overall: A really great beer that I just wish had some carb. It's too flat for me.

Photo of vonnegut21
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 Vintage bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

A: Pours a deep dark black, with minimal head that fades exceptionally quickly.

S: Huge vanilla presence in the nose. Bourbon notes, caramel, a hint of port wine, maybe some sherry as well. Just a great smelling beer.

T: Vanilla, bourbon, port wine, caramel and touch of dark winter fruit. Bakers chocolate and roasted coffee linger in the background.

M: Undercarbonated, but exceptionally smooth. Nice body for a porter. Very drinkable.

O: I think the 2012 vintage is a bit less carbonated than the 2011 vintage, but I really feel like the flavor profile is fuller and more complex than last year's, which I didn't think was possible. Easily the best porter I've ever had. I truly love this beer. Shaun is known for his IPA's and Saisons, but his barrel aged dark beers are exceptional.

Photo of wildcats10
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of TWStandley
4.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Prohibition Pig (also from a bottle, thought they were close).

Appeared an oily black color with very little dark brown head. Very "dead" looking (ie. no carb).

Smell is great. Definetely some strong Bourbon scents, lots of vanilla and sugar. Some plum and raisin notes in the nose as well.

Taste is incredible. First sip is very much bourbony. Then comes in the sweetness. The taste is so rich and layered that even the smallest of sips produces a sensory overload. Wow. Vanilla, plums, raisins, bourbon, coconut...just delicious.

Loved the mouthfeel. Very smooth and soft. Barely any carbonation - both from the bottle and on draft.

Overall this is a treat. Glad I have a few bottles in the cellar to see what some additional time and blending will do. Very rich and complex - extremely sweet. The bottle was consumed while playing some trivia games while it snowed outside - perfect atmosphere for this one IMO.

Photo of mobius387
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of JPortillo
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Shmeal
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of bootdown21
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of SummitVA
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of monitorpop
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.54/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Brought back from the north by a friend, thanks for the hookup Matt.
Pours a solid black color with about forty bubbles eventually making their way to the surface. Yup this one is flat. Smells of chocolate brownie batter, coconut, light bourbon, coffee, a bit of oak tannin and some sugary sweetness to tie this all together. The flavor is sweet and chocolatey with a bit of coconut, caramel, roast, warming alcohol, tannin, and earthy hop to provide some balance. This tastes like an alcoholic mounds bar really. Medium to thick body with a non existent level of carbonation and a sweet syrupy sugary mouthfeel. This honestly smells wonderful, tastes good, but the lack of bubbles messes with the mouthfeel a bit leaving a syrupy feel to it. I'd love to try this with bubbles.

Photo of jaasen64
4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Three Penny Taproom. Served in a HF stemmed glass. Initially served too cold, so I let it warm up in the glass a little bit until it was close to room temp. The '12 batch is only 9% abv. This review is from two pours (before and after dinner)

A- Pours an opaque jet black with a still top (1st pour had a little bit of a mocha bubbly top) and some consistent small carbonation bubbles, but not overly carbonated.

S- Sweet bourbon, molasses, honey, brown sugar, coffee, some dark fruits, fairly aromatic and definitely on the sweet side.

T- Molasses, honey, brown sugar, coffee, finishes with sweet bourbon that blends well with the porter aspects. Sweet lingering aftertaste of light molasses and bourbon.

M- Medium bodied, fairly low carbonation, slightly oily, very smooth, nice feel for a BA porter.

O- This was a very good barrel-aged porter but nothing overly mind-blowing. There was plenty of sweet bourbon and a nice sweet molasses taste that balanced well, but I was expecting a little bit more coffee and chocolate to come out. Overall this is very good, but I think there are a few barrel-aged porters out there that are slightly better. Definitely don't drink this cold, it dulls the flavors and makes it taste a little bit watery. I would love to see what a little bit of age in the bottle does to this beer.

Photo of Pinknuggets
3.53/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at three penny taproom

A: dark dark brown but not quite black with literally no carbonation

S:reeks of bourbon very strong smell that pretty much over powers everything else

T:lots of bourbon there is some malt there but basically all I can taste is the whiskey which really isn't my thing there is no other porter flavors a little but of dark chocolate that complements well but still over powering

M: thick oily and very heavy definitely a sipper not super drinkable for sure

O: I don't like bourbon so my opinion is skewed but there isn't much porter to this beer not well balanced first hfs beer I didn't love and for that matter I have been less impressed withe their darker beers (accepting Everett) especially in comparison to their hoppy beers and saisons but ill blame it on the style this time.

Photo of mklisz
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of girlmeetsbeer16
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Amalak
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of slaphappysnark
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of ScaryEd
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of RBooth9
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.66/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of GoGriz..thank you Cody! According to my notes I received this bottle in our trade last November. I am tired of looking at beer in my cellar, so here goes.

Dark black pour with an oily sheen across the surface and a few tiny rogue bubbles along the edges. Nary any lacing or head to speak of. Harrrumph!

Bourbon and honey play a prominent role on the nose. Neither are massive, but the bourbon imparts a spicy heat that reaches into my nostrils to fizzle any hair that may dwell within. Underlying dark chocolate is rich along with a drying bark quality I also found in Daybreak. Hops perhaps?

Rich melted dark chocolate truffle and warm butterscotch up front. Middle displays the rough and leafy bark from the nose. The coffee presence is light and mellow, whether from time passed or intention is uncertain. If pressed to hazard a guess, I'd choose the former. The finish is dry, tannic, and shockingly harsh.

The mouthfeel here is a real letdown. I always find myself frustrated when supposed, or actual, world class beers fail spectacularly to support the nuances and effort taken to create their beer. Adequate carbonation would do this a world of good.

This is a meaty stick to your bones porter that shockingly fails to hide any of its 11 percent. A bump in carbonation would certainly help, as the structure for a really nice beer are in place but a few support beams are shaky. It's hot as hell.

Having now dabbled more extensively in the HF portfolio, I'm left with mixed feelings. So far I have enjoyed their hoppy offerings more than their stouts and porters. I would think long and hard before trading away what this beer might command. Please don't sit on this beer any longer if you've got it.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.95/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Josh for this one. 500ml bottle poured into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black and viscous with no head. Very sparse, spotty lace and oily, thick legs. Average for the style.

Nose is booze, honey, molasses, roasted coffee, and fudge. Pretty subtle. Leaves me wanting a bit more here.

Opens sweet honey and molasses. Fudge, chocolate, and booze with some sweet prunes mixed in. Coffee presence is noticeably missing probably because of the age of this one. More booziness floats around at the end, complementing the robust honey, molasses and fudge flavors. Finishes sweet and bourbon-y. Aftertaste of sweet roasted malt, chocolate, and fudge. Tasty but a bit one-dimensional without the coffee.

Medium bodied and nearly flat. Viscous, slick, and oily in the mouth and warm and smooth going down. Messy finish with a long, lingering aftertaste. This might not be for everyone but I like my heavier beers a bit flat and this fits the bill for me.

Pretty sure this one is past its prime at this point. However, that doesn't mean its not good. Flavor is decidedly a bit one-dimensional but its still everything you could want from a barrel-aged porter. Warming and delicious. I'd love to revisit this fresh if its ever made again.

Photo of gonzowestwood
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Bruery snifter.

Big thanks to cbeer88 for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 7. This stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a half-finger at best of sienna foam. The nose comprises rich cocoa, dark fruits, and molasses. I didn't really get any barrel character at this point, interestingly.. The taste brings in more of the same, with a seeming fudge component coming in up front. Again, no real barrel character comes through to me, but it doesn't detract from the rest of the experience. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly chewy feel. Overall, a very nice, rich porter. I was a little disappointed to not really get any barrel out of this thing, but it's still pretty damn good. (I initially thought this was a smooth stout, and I will continue to say that it does come close to that kind of experience.)

Photo of bierdabbler
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Brew33
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Birth Of Tragedy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 918 ratings.